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Asiana Crash Highlights Everyday Heroes

As the NTSB continues to explore possible causes of the tragic Asiana Boeing 777 crash on July 6th, much of the news coverage until now has speculated about equipment malfunction and pilot error, or else recounted the injuries and the inconceivable horrors endured onboard the ill-fated aircraft. However the incident has also been a source of countless brave and selfless acts by the heroic passengers and crew.Cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye spoke of how her instinct to protect her passengers took over in the moments after impact. “I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger,” she explained in a news conference on Sunday. “I didn’t have a moment to feel that this fire was going to hurt me.”She also told the story of how, when a young passenger became too frightened to evacuate the plane via one of the emergency slides, one of Ms. Yoon-hye’s colleagues carried him down to safety on her back.Fei Xiong helped her 8-year-old son leap from the plane directly onto the tarmac when she became concerned that the aircraft would become engulfed in flames before help arrived. Wen Zhang carried her 4-year-old son to safety through a small hole torn open in the wreck.Boeing 777s are designed to accommodate a complete evacuation within 90 seconds even if half the aircraft’s doors are inoperable. This capacity was put to the test on Saturday as much of the aircraft was damaged or in flames. Video footage of the impact and its aftermath shows that despite many injuries and two tragic losses of life, the evacuation of the plane was on the whole safe and efficient. This has a lot to do with crewmember training and passengers’ familiarity with safe evacuation procedures.Let’s have the Asiana Airlines tragedy serve as a reminder to all aircraft passengers of the importance of wearing a seatbelt, identifying all possible emergency exits, and familiarizing oneself with emergency protocol. Accidents like this will continue to occur, but we can ensure the best possible safety for ourselves and our loved ones by remaining aware of possible dangers and how to act in the event of an emergency.Sources: USA Today, “Asiana Survivors Recall Last Moments Before Crash” July 8 2013.CNN, “Why Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash was Survivable” July 7 2013.

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